Bending not Breaking

One advantage of homeschooling is that it enables us to work on character traits that we want to see our kids develop. I’ve been thinking lately that the single character trait I most want to instill in them is flexibility. I’ve come to realize as an adult that almost everything can be overcome if you are able to be flexible and adjust to circumstances instead of trying and forcing circumstances to adjust to your plan. This is not at all an easy thing for me, and I’d like it to be something my kids learn at an earlier age and are better at than me.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), homeschooling provides oodles of opportunities to model this trait. Or to model why being inflexible is bad as the case may be. The past month we’ve had a lot of weeks that are shorter than usual for various reasons. Grandparents visiting, a special performance downtown, a field trip, extra days in the office for me. All good things, but all things that throw us out of our normal routine. We’ve been getting our weekly work done in 3 days instead of 4 (the 5th day of the week we participate in a homeschool co-op and rarely do any work at home). That’s been fine and doable but it’s meant that I’ve been focused more on the 3 R’s and putting things like history projects and art on the back burner.

So I decided to take this week and a half before Thanksgiving and put those things usually on the back burner first.

We’re doing a little history.

Last week we read about William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings. This week we looked at pictures of the Bayeux Tapestry online and the assignment was to paint a “tapestry” telling a story that we had read or that they made up (for this kind of school, David likes to join us).

John’s story is:

A guy on a horse about to fight a guy in a boat. The guy in a boat is a Viking. There is also a guy who has a fire and is waiting for fish from the river to cook but he can’t catch any. The master is in a red cloak and is jumping through the air to attack and help the guy on the horse. And it’s raining.

We’ve also done some nature study.

These are leaves from one of our backyard trees.

Today we started the morning with XYZ week books for David (lots of  “zoo” themed books) and our current read-alouds: My Father’s Dragon and Magic or Not. We’ve also worked on some Latin and the 2 and 3 times tables and done a little piano.

All in all it’s been a good two days. It’s nice to have a usual routine, but it’s also nice to get away from it now and then.


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